What is Teething?
The term ‘teething’ usually refers to the process that takes place as the first teeth begin to push up through the gums and as a general rule baby can start to teeth before the age of six months, but teeth don’t usually appear until after that age. So at stage one, you can expect a few bouts of painful teething episodes, but no teeth just yet.
Stage One: 0-6 months
Babies are born with their full set of ‘milk teeth’ beneath the gums, and they can start to erupt at any time during this first period. For some babies, it can take weeks and weeks for the first tooth to appear, and for others only days. Some babies are born with teeth (yes, really!) and some won’t get them until much later.
Stage Two: 6 months
The upper and lower front teeth start to erupt as well as the incisors. Though signs of discomfort may start earlier, the incisors erupt around the age of 6 months. During this stage of teething, there will also be a noticeable increase in drool. A small bib worn throughout the day can make it easy to keep baby’s chin dry and prevent a rash from developing. A bib will also help keep clothes dry and baby comfortable.
Stage three: 10-18 months
The primary molar teeth now start to be seen; those are needed for chewing and eating. They usually appear in the following order:
- First is the two bigger teeth on either side of the mouth, towards the back at the top (upper first molars)
- followed by two bigger teeth either side at the bottom (lower first molars)
These teeth can be very painful for babies and you can expect a lot of dribbling, drooling and maybe even an upset tummy too.
Stage four: 16-22 months
During this stage, your baby’s canine teeth (between incisors and molars on top and bottom) will erupt. Again, the object is to keep the baby comfortable.
- Two teeth will appear to fill the gaps at the top between the incisors and first molars (upper canine)
- followed by two teeth at the bottom, between the incisors and molars (lower canine)
Stage five: 25-33 months
The large molars erupt. These are the largest teeth, and some children will find this to be the most painful time of teething. Parents may find that what once was soothing is no longer so. Keep trying different methods of comforting the toddler until something works. One healthy option would be to provide a hard vegetable for the toddler to chew on, like a whole, peeled carrot placed in the freezer for a time. Just be sure to watch baby closely at all times to avoid choking.